Inflation rises 0.2%
Consumer prices rose 0.2 percent year-on-year last month, posting an increase for the third straight month on higher energy costs, official figures showed yesterday. The market had expected the core index, which excludes volatile food items, to show a 0.1 percent increase after a 0.2 percent rise in March. The increase stemmed mainly from higher electricity and gas prices, according to data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
Consumers stay confident
A study shows that consumers remain cautiously confident in Europe’s largest economy despite uncertainty in the wider 17-nation eurozone. The GfK institute’s -forward-looking survey released yesterday showed consumer confidence at 5.7 points for next month, the same level as this month. The survey showed a drop in income expectations was offset by a rise in optimism about the future and willingness to buy. The nation’s economy grew by 0.5 percent in the first quarter of the year.
Bankia shares suspended
The market regulator has suspended trading in shares of bailed-out lender Bankia ahead of a bank board meeting that is expected to decide on the amount of money it needs from the government. The bank’s shares have plunged since it was nationalized earlier this month. Minister of Economy and Finance Luis de Guindos said on Wednesday the government would pump at least 9 billion euros (US$11 billion) into Bankia, but added that more would be available if needed. Bankia, the nation’s fourth-largest bank, has been the worst-hit with 32 billion euros in toxic assets as a result of the burst real-estate bubble.
Codelco CEO steps down
The chief executive officer of Codelco, the world’s biggest copper company, is stepping down. Chile’s state-owned firm said Diego Hernandez cited personal reasons for his resignation, which takes effect on Friday. He is being replaced by chief financial officer Thomas Keller. Chilean Minister of Mining Hernan de Solminihac said on Thursday that Hernandez’s resignation was not related to Codelco’s fight with the British mining company Anglo American PLC. Codelco is the majority owner of Anglo American Sur SA, a joint venture in Chile with the British company.
Goldman eyes renewables
Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs plans to invest US$40 billion in projects linked to renewable energy over the next decade, company spokesman Michael Duvally said on Thursday. Goldman, which has a team dedicated to investment in clean technologies and renewable energy, financed US$4.8 billion and co-invested more than US$500 million in the sector last year.
Vatican Bank president fired
The president of the Vatican bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, has been ousted by the board of directors, the Vatican said on Thursday, blaming him for a deterioration in standards of governance. The board unanimously passed a no-confidence vote in Tedeschi for failing to carry out “various fundamentally important functions of his office,” the statement said. The bank has been in the spotlight since September 2010 when Italian investigators froze 23 million euros of its funds in Italian banks after opening an investigation into possible money-laundering.